A Night in the Life of an Author
Tired, weary from another day of grocery shopping with the wife and working on his new book as much as possible, the man time and again turns his body on the big firm bed seeking the best position for sleep. He moves a small pillow between his knees to protect his joints. He curls his right arm around his head, his left arm straight to his side, then turns and does it all again. In spite of himself, he smiles in the dark at the idiocy of his routine for settling in bed. Finally he settles into a position he believes will work for him.
Then, his mind begins its replay of the day’s short session of writing. He is at a critical section in the book where he needs some action to enliven the narrative. He has two undercover sheriff’s deputies sitting with a Mexican informant at a table in a Mexican cantina on the Arizona border. The cantina is on the Mexican side of the border, and the object of their surveillance is a middle-aged rotund Mexican with a moustache, sitting just a few tables away with bodyguards and presumably coyote runners.
His mind dilemma? Does he start the action inside the cantina or wait out the mark and his bodyguards until they exit the smelly joint? The deputies and informant are drinking beer and telling jokes, acting out so as to fit in the milieu. His mind is alive with ideas. He must choose the most believable and the most exciting scenario for the action.
The man is settled on his right side and he now looks out the large window and sees the full moon shining through. The moon is bright, sharply outlined in the big pane of glass. He has always heard about ‘the man in the moon’ and he finds himself staring, trying to make out the ‘man’, but he cannot see the image. He gets out of bed and goes to the alcove window, repositions a stuffed chair and sits and covers every visible area on the moon. He cannot see ‘the man in the moon’. He sits there for some thirty minutes trying to see an image that apparently no one has any trouble seeing – he’s heard about ‘the man in the moon’ all his life. Why the hell can’t he see it?
Now, the man is irked. He’s thinking all the people who have mentioned ‘the man in the moon’ have put one over on him…there really isn’t an image of a man in the stupid moon. He puts the chair back in its normal position in the alcove and goes back to bed, goes through his routine of getting settled…away from the moon.
The man is back to his book, back with his characters in the cantina in the Mexican border town, deciding just how he wants the action to play out. He thinks that he finally has a good piece of narrative for the action scene and now he’s got to tinkle. He gets up, goes to the bathroom, and he’s standing over the porcelain hole when he sees the moon again out the window. So, he’s studying the moon, looking for ‘the man’ and still can’t find him.
When he looks down he discovers he has dribbled his urine all over the freaking floor. He rolls off a big wad of toilet paper and wipes it all up. He rolls off another big wad of paper, goes to the sink and wets it down at the faucet, goes back and wipes again. Okay, so now he’s got the floor wet with the water and he rolls another big wad of toilet paper and wipes until the area is dry. He throws all the wads of paper in the toilet and flushes.
He’s walking out of the bathroom when he hears the water overflowing the toilet bowl and onto the tiled floor. Now, he says a few choice words and hopes he hasn’t awakened his wife. He finds the plunger and does the plunging until the water settles back to where it’s supposed to be.
Now, he’s got to clean the floor again so he tiptoes to the kitchen, grabs a full roll of paper towels, and goes tiptoeing back to the bathroom. It takes him some thirty minutes and six trips back to the kitchen garbage compactor to get the job done.
Finally, breathing heavily, he’s back in bed doing his settling routine. A few minutes later he’s about to fall off to sleep and the damned cat starts meowing, gets up on the bed, walks on the man’s legs and body, gets down, gets back up, and his wife is a sound sleeper but getting aroused. When the cat jumps off the bed like the fourth time the man gets up to chase him out of the room and lock him out, but he trips over the damned animal and falls on his keister.
The man involuntarily lets out a squeal as his foot hits a chair leg. He lies there on the carpet while the wife softly moans and never wakes up. He sighs, gets up, now doesn’t know where the cat is and very carefully slides his feet forward little by little toward the bedroom door. He sees the cat out in the hallway outside the door and rushes to get the door closed before he can get back in. He quickly closes the door but the bottom corner whacks him on the big toe. He involuntarily squeals again…his wife softly snorts but remains asleep.
He gets the door closed, carefully in the dark limps his way back to bed and goes once more through his settling routine. No more book business. It is time for sleep. His bed turning wakes his wife.
“You just getting to bed, honey? Could you get me a glass of water while you’re up?”
Have some misery! You know it loves company!
Billy Ray Chitwood – January 31, 2015
(Incidentally, the book referenced above will be out hopefully sometime this spring or summer… Some years ago, in a house move, I lost the manuscript to this book so I’m rewriting it…at that time the working title was “Stranger Abduction” – it will likely stay the same.)
The book I’m touting this week is Mama’s Madness. It was a tough book to write because of the subject matter, inspired by a California case many years ago…a mother from hell who tortured her kids and murdered two of her ex-husbands. It was a book with some embellishment but many of the scenes in the book actually happened. It is difficult to believe such evil exists… Give it a read and a review!
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